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Author Topic: Old KN and WN calls  (Read 5866 times)
AF5CC
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« on: February 08, 2014, 08:33:29 PM »

I know in the past a novice would get a KN 2 x 3, and the N would be dropped when they upgraded.  Later, they were issuing WN 2 x 3 calls to novices, and the N would be replaced with a A or B for a 2 x 3 call.  However, there were a few hams who somehow kept their KN or WN 2 x 3s, and this was before the vanity program started. I saw one yesterday on an old QSL for KH9 on the K8CX ham QSL gallery.  I remember a few when I was first licensed in the 80s.

How did these hams slip by and keep their old novice calls?  Any ideas?  I know a few of the WN calls were kept when they changed the novice license to renewable, and went with the new call system in 1978.

73 John AF5CC
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W3HF
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 09:46:38 PM »

Actually, the first Novices (in the early 1950s) had WN calls, and they became W 1x3s. Then came the KNs that became K 1x3s. Then came some WV novices (in the 2nd and 6th districts) that became WA calls. Eventually they went back to WN calls that became WA and WB calls. 

I know a few that reclaimed their former WN calls through the vanity program, but I doubt that those are ones you were talking about.

But I also know a few that used an FCC rule that used to be on the books. There was a time when the FCC would reissue to you your former callsign if you had let it expire, but then retested. Suppose someone was licensed as a Novice in August 1974. and let their license expire two years later in August 1976. All WN calls were "upgraded" to WA/WB/WD calls late in 1976, but the license was expired so no action was taken. If that person re-tested in 1977 and passed the Novice test again, he could request and receive his former callsign. I think that rule went away when the FCC introduced the Group A/B/C/D license structure later in 1978 or 1979, so this trick wasn't available for long.
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AF5CC
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 11:34:42 AM »

W3HF, thanks for the information. I wasn't aware of that.  Seems like there were a few periods of  vanity callsigns before the current vanity system. Think what it would be like today if they hadn't went to the group A/B/C/D system and we all still had our 2 x 3 novice calls.

73 John AF5CC
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K2OWK
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 05:13:24 PM »

I had my original call KN2OWK back about 1954 when I took my Novice test. From what I remember that license was only valid for a year and was not renewable. If you let it expire it was all over and you could only take the general test to become a ham again. The original call was dead and no longer issued. If you took the general test and passed you would be issued your novice call with the N dropped. I do not remember how you could receive your original novice call as a general. Of course now with the vanity call signs available any call sign that is not being used can be reissued to you. If I wanted to and if it was still available I could apply for KN2OWK, but why would I want to.

73s

K2OWK
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W3HF
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 07:59:56 PM »

K2OWK -

By the mid-70s, Novice licenses had a two-year term. And although they still weren't renewable (that change didn't happen until the 80s), the "you can only be a Novice once" rule was gone. So you could retake the Novice test after your first license had expired and get a new two-year term.

It's those guys that were able to reclaim their original Novice callsigns, during their second Novice terms.

Steve
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KS2G
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 08:12:21 PM »

There was a time when the FCC would reissue to you your former callsign if you had let it expire, but then retested.

A variation on that...

Back in the mid 1970's A friend of mine was issued a WN2xxx callsign as a Novice.

That ticket lapsed after 2 years, and he took and passed the General test a short while later and was issued a new "Wx2" series 2-by-3 call.

He contacted the FCC to see if he could get that callsign replaced by a "WA" or "WB" callsign with his old "WN2xxx" suffix.

He was told that was not possible, but the COULD give him back his original WN2xxx "Novice" callsign -- which they did.

And he still holds it -- as an Advanced Class licensee.
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AF5CC
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 10:17:11 PM »

I had some friends who got their novice license in 1979 and it was the 5 years and renewable term by then.  I think maybe that came about with the 1978 callsign changes.

73 John AF5CC
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AF5CC
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 09:51:28 AM »

Found at least one WV2 2 x 3 call that is not listed as a vanity call, so he must have gotten it back under the rules you discussed earlier.  I was wondering if any of these WV2 calls existed.  Glad to know there is at least one.

John AF5CC
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N2EY
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 01:48:57 PM »

K2OWK -

By the mid-70s, Novice licenses had a two-year term. And although they still weren't renewable (that change didn't happen until the 80s), the "you can only be a Novice once" rule was gone. So you could retake the Novice test after your first license had expired and get a new two-year term.

One small point: The Novice became a 5 year renewable license in 1978. May 15, 1978, to be exact. See QST for May, 1978, page 47.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W3HF
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 09:14:59 PM »

Sorry for the misinformation. Was working from memory.
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W7HBP
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2014, 07:42:15 AM »

I know in the past a novice would get a KN 2 x 3, and the N would be dropped when they upgraded.  Later, they were issuing WN 2 x 3 calls to novices, and the N would be replaced with a A or B for a 2 x 3 call.  However, there were a few hams who somehow kept their KN or WN 2 x 3s, and this was before the vanity program started. I saw one yesterday on an old QSL for KH9 on the K8CX ham QSL gallery.  I remember a few when I was first licensed in the 80s.

How did these hams slip by and keep their old novice calls?  Any ideas?  I know a few of the WN calls were kept when they changed the novice license to renewable, and went with the new call system in 1978.

73 John AF5CC

I know a guy who is a general and applied for his original novice call. He got it. That is probably how they kept it.
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ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member
W3HF
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 06:22:13 AM »

I know in the past a novice would get a KN 2 x 3, and the N would be dropped when they upgraded.  Later, they were issuing WN 2 x 3 calls to novices, and the N would be replaced with a A or B for a 2 x 3 call.  However, there were a few hams who somehow kept their KN or WN 2 x 3s, and this was before the vanity program started. I saw one yesterday on an old QSL for KH9 on the K8CX ham QSL gallery.  I remember a few when I was first licensed in the 80s.

How did these hams slip by and keep their old novice calls?  Any ideas?  I know a few of the WN calls were kept when they changed the novice license to renewable, and went with the new call system in 1978.

73 John AF5CC

I know a guy who is a general and applied for his original novice call. He got it. That is probably how they kept it.

That is possible today under the vanity program. But the original post specifically said "this was before the vanity program started", so it's not an explanation for something that was in existence in the 1980s.
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N4KZ
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Posts: 599




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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 12:00:18 PM »

Here's some info that might not be terribly important but might be regarded by one or two as interesting.

I obtained my novice ticket in February 1969. By then, the ticket was good for two years and was non-renewable but the FCC was saying the license was re-obtainable with re-testing. But you'd get a new call sign. That didn't impact me. Even though I loved my novice experience, after 6 months of 75 watts input and crystal control, I was ready for the big leagues and the general class. Was all of 15 years old and traveled to the Federal Building in downtown Louisville, Ky., where FCC personnel from the Chicago office traveled 4 times annually to administer amateur tests. A buddy of mine tested for general too and our Elmer was trying for advanced. It was a joyous ride home since we all passed!

Naturally, we had to celebrate such a momentous occasion. We stopped at a new little restaurant for lunch. None of us had heard of this little joint. It was the first Arby's any of us had seen.

My novice call was WN4MEN. Yes, the suffix was always good for a comment or two. And it seemed to be a magnet for other interesting suffixes on the air. In my QSL collection, I have a card from WN6EGG. And the EGG letters on the front of the card were cut out of an actual egg carton and pasted to the QSL. I seem to recall other cards with suffixes of PIG, TEA, GUN and LAD. Even have another card from another ham with the same MEN suffix. (W4MEN in Florida.)

How weird is that?

After upgrading to general, I became WB4MEN - a call I relinquished when I moved to Michigan in the mid-1970s. In the late 1970s, the FCC went through a brief period of reissuing old calls and WB4MEN, according to the callbook of the day, was given to a fellow in South Carolina. A few years later, while vacationing in Charleston, S.C., I asked on a local repeater if any of them remembered a WB4MEN locally. He was a tech. No one did. Later, the callbook showed he moved to North Carolina and then disappeared from the callbook. I look back fondly on that call but never had any interest in re-obtaining it as a vanity call.

73, Dave, N4KZ

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